High Court to hear Ismail Sabri's defamation suit against former Bersatu women's chief on Oct 1

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has fixed Oct 1 to hear the defamation lawsuit filed by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob against the former women's chief of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Anina Saadudin over her Facebook posts.

Justice Mohd Firuz Jaffril fixed the date during case management here on Thursday (March 25).

During the proceedings, Anina, who was unrepresented, told the court that she could not hire a lawyer and would be conducting her own defence.

"I am a housewife and I cannot afford a lawyer so I will be representing myself.

"I would like to be present in this honourable court in the belief that the court will act fairly and be a place where I could speak the truth," she said.

Anina also did not object to the injunction order previously granted by the court compelling her to delete the posts on her Facebook page.

She told the judge that she had taken down the impugned posts within 21 days after the order was granted.

Lawyer K. Ragunath represented Ismail Sabri during the proceedings.

On March 5, Ismail Sabri filed the lawsuit against Anina over allegations that she had posted 13 defamatory statements and uploaded a video on her Facebook page, which, among others, accused the minister of being incompetent in discharging his duties and implementing strict regulations to combat Covid-19 under the movement control order.

He claimed that the statements, made between Feb 5 and March 3, were shared by other Facebook users.

He said the statements implied that he was just a “puppet” in implementing the Prime Minister’s orders and that he was an inefficient and incompetent senior minister.

He said the posts were done with ill intention and resulted in his reputation being tarnished.

As such, he is seeking general, exemplary and additional damages with interest, cost and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

On March 11, the court allowed Ismail Sabri's ex-parte application for an injunction order to force Anina to immediately delete all the alleged defamatory remarks about him on her Facebook page as well as an order to restrain Anina or her representatives from making other defamatory remarks on her social media sites.

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